Written by Sierra Rein
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In furniture terms, curios are designed specifically to store and display knickknacks, collectibles, small sculptures, and other valuable works of art. Named after the word "curiosity," these shelving units are typically made with wood frames surrounded by glass walls and doors. Guests can thus admire the beauty and unique qualities of the owner's possessions without endangering them.

Curios come in many shapes and sizes and can be used in both professional and domestic settings. Jewelers, antique salesmen, collectors, and model airplane sellers typically use them to attractively display possible sales to customers. On the other hand, families can also use curios to safely honor ancestral heirlooms, portraits, and collectibles.

Some curios are built with locking mechanisms on all doors and windows to prevent and discourage unwelcome tampering or theft. Most can be found with adjustable shelves and interior light bulbs to add touches of unique accent lighting. Curios are usually designed in rectangular shapes and are typically placed flat against a wall.

Unique Curios

While the typical curio is tall, rectangular, and often immobile, there are other forms to consider. Hexagonal curios (which are usually tall, skinny, and five-sided) provide a view from any angle. Some have mirrored shelves and backs that help to create the illusion of expanded space as well as allowing a view of the back of any item from the front. Smaller curios can often be hung from the wall, while others can be built into decorative secretary desks and bookcases.

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